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On-going assessment of learning in inclusive settings - Germany

The primary school sees its function in supporting children with different individual learning abilities and learning backgrounds in such a way as to develop their social behaviour and skills. Thus, children acquire a solid basis which helps them find their way in life. In order to do this it is necessary to monitor and assess the individual development and performance of each pupil on a constant basis. The same applies for pupils with special educational needs.

As a rule, assessment is based on syllabus requirements and the knowledge, abilities and skills acquired in class in a certain year or learning group. Assessment is carried out by the teacher responsible for lessons, who is responsible educationally for his or her decision. This assessment takes the form of a report in the course and at the end of the school year describing in detail a pupil’s progress and development. The evaluation of the individual pupil’s performance is at the same time an educational and an administrative act on the basis of legislative and administrative regulations. Nearly all Länder are legally obligated to establish individual education plan either once or twice a year. 

On a Länder-level there exist no standardised performance tests to assess pupils’ subject- or grade-related achievements or learning progresses. Schools for special education, so-called Sonderschulen, regularly evaluate pupils with special educational needs in a way that is similar to the assessment procedures in other schools. Assessments of mentally retarded and multiple handicapped pupils are recorded in form of individual progress reports. Special educational assessment is based on multidisciplinary reports. Parents are entitled to request a verification of such reports. In the event that an institution is lead to file an application of such kind the parents have to receive the necessary information and guidance. Parents have the right to object to special educational needs. Special educational needs based on special educational principles are divided into different categories according to the pupils’ individual needs.

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